Ben Badler of Baseball America, who covers the international prospect world better than anyone, has a lengthy new article about Cuban slugger Jose Abreu and his “green light” to sign after being cleared by MLB.
Quite a few teams have been linked to Abreu by various reports, but Badler rates the Rangers as his most likely landing spot. It makes sense, as first base has been a weak spot and the Rangers have certainly shown a willingness to shell out big money for high-profile international players in Yu Darvish. Badler also notes that the Rangers have a good relationship with Abreu’s agency.
He also lists the Red Sox, Pirates, Nationals, and White Sox as possible suitors and, while not named by Badler, the Giants and Marlins have also been mentioned in connection to Abreu frequently by other sources.
Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.
Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.
The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com just tweeted that the Cubs will soon announce a five-year contract extension for president Theo Epstein. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that it’s worth in excess of $50 million.
He’s earned it. When he took over the Cubs in October, 2011 the Cubs were a last place team with an aging roster and a front office that was several years behind the state of the art in every conceivable way. Last year the Cubs made the playoffs and this year they are baseball’s best team by a large margin and the franchise looks poised to continue its success for some time.
So, yeah, I’d say locking Theo up is a good idea.